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(synonym: Celestichthys margaritatus)
General Body Form:
Males: A rounded, fusiform body with a very short snout and moderately long, rounded fins. The caudal fin is homocercal and indented. Females: Are generally a little larger than the males and are notably more round-bodied when gravid.
Male: The more intensely colored of the sexes, males have a dark, midnight blue background studded by multiple bright, pearlescent spots. Fins are primarily translucent gray and possess one or more bold red bands framed by smaller black stripes (the caudal fin is gray with large red bands on each lobe.) Only the pectoral fins are completely translucent gray. A translucent silver line traces this fish dorsally from snout to caudal peduncle. Coloration intensifies during courtship, including the abdomen taking on a reddish hue. Female: Field of the body is paler, more of a silvery olive-blue adorned with pearly dots. The abdomen is silvery-white. Dorsal and caudal fins (as well as the anal fin, occasionally) possess a paler version of gray, black, red striping seen in males. A small black spot appears at the base of the anal fin when females reach reproductive age.
Usually inhabits clear streams strewn with rocks and boulders, frequently
found below waterfalls. It is also found in the open areas of flooded
Easy. OVIPAROUS: Egg-scatters. Sexual Dimorphism: both Dimorphic and Dichroic. When ready to mate, the male will briefly chase the female to ensure she is receptive. They then move to the bottom of the tank where they will scatter and fertilize approximately 30 eggs in dense vegetation (spawning mops may be substituted.) Observing the mated fish, non-courting males may either try to fertilize the lain eggs or engage in egg-predation (at this point it's advisable to remove all adults to a separate tank prevent egg-predation.) There is no parental involvement past spawning. Generally, larvae hatch in 3 to 4 days and hide out as close to the substrate as possible. They lighten in color as they grow soon begin free-swimming and venturing for food (the larvae can be fed paramecium.) At 8 to 10 weeks the larvae metamorphose into their adult forms and changes in their coloration are distinct by week 12 onward. Fry can be fed artemia, nauplii and microworm. A sponge filter is recommended for keeping the water clean while sparing the larvae and fry.
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